St. James hosts model train meet

KEYC News Now at 6 Saturday Recording
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 9:08 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The Watonwan County Fairgrounds played host to a model train meet Saturday.

The event was run by the St. James Model Railroad Club, representing the Prairie Lakes Division of the National Model Railroad Association.

The meet featured live demonstrations, vendors, food and tutorial clinics.

Organizers of the event said that the purpose of the event was to grow and improve the hobby.

“Our main goal is to promote the hobby. We do this by having clinics on how to do different topics. Modeling contests to show off our skills and vendors to sell wares for the hobby,” said Jay Davis of the National Railroad Association.

Fans of the activity said that a big draw is the number of different components needed to made a layout successful.

“It takes lots of different mediums to do well. You need carpentry, you need painting skills, computer skills. There’s a lot of skill sets involved in this hobby,” said Bill Nelson of the St. James Model Railroad Club.

The hobby itself is something that many participants have held on to for a long time, and is something that participants are eager to pass to the next generation.

“I got kind of into it as a kid when my mom and dad gave me a layout of, for Christmas, and ever since it’s just been kind of fun to do and make it as real as possible, it’s just a challenge,” Nelson said

The meet ended with an open house of the permanent Model Railroad Club building, where fans can share the hobby year round.

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